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:: Chemehuevi ::

...pale gravel earth studded with creosote bush and ocotillo...
...ragged mountains rising in the distance...

I walked a few paces from the SUV, looking, always looking underfoot, studying the ground. This was the Chemehuevi Valley in the Mojave Desert, southeastern California. This desert had been calling me; for some reason I needed to be in this place of white gravel and heat. I was only passing through here, but I did take the time to look and listen. Then I gathered some of that gravel, some stones that spoke to me, and two twisted remnants--dried creosote roots?--with fantastic shapes that whispered to me of the desert, and continued on my way, carrying the Chemehuevi Valley inside me.

Back home, I gradually incubated this design to evoke the austere tranquility of that place out in the Mojave. Multiple strands of leather are scattered with elements that speak of the desert in silver, glass and bone. Two handformed rings of sterling silver were impressed directly with the root fragments I took with me...portions of the roots can be seen in the photos. A broken spiral impressed with the skin of a rattlesnake coils up one strand; tiny discs of fossil-impressed sterling sit on other strands. I also included a snakebone. Weathered white glass trade beads evoke the white gravel, which the necklace was photographed upon. Various small white metal beads and Burmese brass heishe anchor the elements.

For the clasp, I wrapped sterling spring ends with a lashing of fine sterling wire. One end is a hook, and they both hold another handformed ring of sterling silver.

All of my silver elements--except the spring ends and wire--were formed by hand of sterling silver PMC, kiln-fired, and oxidized and finished by hand.

I don't have words to really tell you what it feels like to stand on the warm desert earth and feel the silence, but maybe this necklace will say it better than words can...this one is for the lover of desert earth and desert distances.

Size: 25cm from the nape of the neck to the silver rings in front. The total length is 52cm. The larger sterling ring in front is 8mm x 16mm.

Care: Rinse briefly in cool water to clean.

Chemehuevi will arrive beautifully giftwrapped in a hand-decorated pillow box, along with a handwritten descriptive label.

Frequently asked questions about DesertTalismans

Sorry, my work is one of a kind and I do not accept any custom orders, including requests to recreate previously sold items.
The size of each item is given at the bottom of each listing. The only variations in size are for rings that are adjustable. See the listings for details.
Care instructions are provided at the bottom of each listing.
All items are giftwrapped and carefully packaged for shipping. See my Sample Packaging listing for details.
Sorry, wholesale is not available at this time.
All items and images in the Desert Talismans shop are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form, or in any medium, without the written permission of Dawn Wilson-Enoch

Multistrand Leather Choker with Sterling Silver Sliders, Vintage African Beads, and Snake Vertebrae


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: leather, sterling silver, vintage trade beads, African trade beads, mixed metal beads
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 619 reviews
  • Favorited by: 21 people